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Program and Meeting

September 19 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


 Understanding Bird Songs and Calls: Who is Talking and What are They Saying?  by Dr. Mark Nolen.

On spring and early summer mornings, the woods and prairies are alive with a symphony of bird songs. Buzzes, whistles, trills, hoots, and squawks sound out across the still morning air! In the winter woods, a flock of chickadees, titmice, and nuthatches makes barely audible chirps and then suddenly erupts into a cacophony of chattering notes. Each species has its own unique combination of sounds. Bird vocalizations provide a great way of finding and identifying hard to see birds. But what do birds themselves actually using these sounds for? With the recent surge of interest in using sound to ID birds, now is a great time to learn more about the science of bird vocalizations. Sound provides a window into the lives of birds far beyond merely knowing what species is calling. Dr. Nolen will discuss some of the insights into bird songs and calls that science has produced. Do all birds communicate the same type of information or are some bird species more skilled than others? How do birds convey information in their sounds? Are these sounds learned or instinctive? Recently, technology such as the Merlin bird ID app has greatly increased public awareness of bird vocalizations. But anyone can become more involved in the science of bioacoustics by recording birds sounds themselves, studying them on their own computers, and uploading them to citizen science databases.

Dr. Mark Nolen is a Professor of Biology at Hutchinson Community College. He received a PhD in Biology from Purdue University where he studied how the ‘Chick-A-Dee’ call of the Carolina chickadee and tufted titmouse is used in flocking and mobbing behaviors. He is currently on the board of Wichita Audubon Society as Vice President.

Programs will not be live-streamed this year, but you can see recordings after the live program on Youtube.


September 19
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Mark Nolen


Great Plains Nature Center
6232 E 29th St N
Wichita, KS 67220 United States
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